All dogs bark and there is nothing you can do about it. The usual one-time excitement or alert bark is okay, but the incessant barking of your cocker spaniel can be irritating to you and the neighbours. If your cocker spaniel has this bad habit, it is most definitely time you put a stop to it.
Teach your cocker spaniel to bark in moderation and only when it is necessary. You don’t want to be a nuisance in that nice neighbourhood of yours, do you? Training a cocker spaniel puppy to bark only when necessary is easy because they are able to learn quickly. However, training an older dog might take longer, but it is not impossible, so don’t give up.
The following tips will help you train your cocker spaniel to stop barking.
Identify and Remove the Problem
Your dog’s irritating barking habits could be being caused by a variety of different reasons and as a loving dog owner, you don’t want to work on guesswork. Identify the causes of your dog’s barking and work on removing them so that they don’t trigger your dog constantly.
If your dog barks because they are lonely or bored, find things to do or exercise them to keep them occupied. Take a walk with your dog, or make them play with their chew toys. With so much going on in your cocker spaniel’s world, they will have very little time to think about nuisance barking.
Your dog could be barking so much because they have sensed some danger or smelt an intruder, so it might be worthwhile to check outside for any intruders. You can also switch on your front or back security lights to scare away any unwanted visitors and the lights will also calm your dog down because they know you are now in control of the situation.
Sometimes, children or other family members could tease your dog as a way of bonding with them. If your cocker spaniel barks too much because of the teasing, ask the teasers to stop it or go slow on it to reduce the barks.
The most obvious reason why your dog barks so much is if they are hungry. Your dog has no other way of saying, “Hey favourite human, could you get me something to eat?” besides barking at you. Try feeding your dog and see if the barking quietens down.
If your dog continues barking, use the “quiet down” command to have them stop barking. That should work if your canine knows how to obey commands. If all these basic strategies do not work, here are a few more tricks you can use to train your dog.
How to stop a cocker spaniel from barking at passers by
Create a Positive Association with The “Problem”
This strategy is most applicable if your cocker spaniel barks at every person that comes to your doorstep. It could be the delivery man, the postman or just our neighbours passing by. You should train your dog to understand the difference between these people and intruders.
Get someone to play your assistant and dress up as the delivery guy or whoever your dog likes to bark so much at. When your assistant approaches, open the door, so the dog meets them outside. If the cocker spaniel starts to bark, ignore them and attend to the visitor.
Wait for your dog to calm down and reward them when they do. If you do this consistently, your cocker spaniel will know that the delivery guy is not hostile and will stop barking at them.
Keep on changing the assistant so that your dog does not become accustomed to one individual. Instead, train them the difference between an intruder and a service person. Keep on practising this genius trick and watch your spaniel graduate from being an irritating barker to a pleasant dog.
Give Your Dog Alternatives
What is your cocker spaniel’s favourite place when they start barking? Behind the door? Well, it’s time to condition them otherwise. Block off that area for the time being to break your dog’s cycle and situation. That should send a message that they are not supposed to be there and if they cannot be there, they cannot bark.
Train your cocker spaniel to obey the “look at me” command every time they start barking at a distraction. You can either do this outside or inside, as long as there are distractions. Then take the training to a real-life situation.
Every time a visitor approaches, command your cocker spaniel to look at you and calm them down. If they oblige to the command, praise the dog and reward them with an edible treat. Practise this strategy until the cocker spaniel learns not to bark at visitors.
Train Your Dog to Only Bark on Command
One way to stop your cocker spaniel from not barking is to teach them how to bark. Confusing? Here’s how to do it. You can let your canine bark but only on command. Trigger your dog with situations that they would normally bark at, wave a treat and give them the quiet command. Give your cocker spaniel the treat if they stay quiet.
You can also teach your canine the speak and quiet command in a quiet place. Teach the dog the same commands in different environments until they can obey without triggers. Remember to reward your dog every time they obey your commands, then you can apply this strategy in real-life situations and see how well your canine performs.
As a rule of the thumb, be patient with your cocker spaniel. The lessons may be hard to grasp, but they will get there eventually.
A barking dog is a great asset in your household; until the barking becomes unbearable and annoying. If your cocker spaniel has become a nuisance with their unreasonable barking, it is most certainly time to train them on a better behaviour.
Deal with the triggers around your dog and teach them basic commands such as speak and be quiet. You can also teach your dog the difference between a friend and an intruder so they don’t bark at all visitors. You can also train your canine to only bark on command. Once you train your dog how to bark when it is only necessary, you and your neighbours will finally have peaceful days and nights.
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